Frank blasts GOP for siding with China against Bernanke

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) blasted Republicans in an interview Monday, arguing that the GOP has taken the side of "foreign central banks" in debates over monetary policy. 

"What's striking to me, frankly ... you said that Republicans are criticizing [Federal Reserve Chairman] Ben Bernanke. That's part of it. The Republicans are joining the Central Bank of China in attacking Bernanke. This is really distressing to me," he told Bloomberg Television's Margaret Brennan. 

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Republicans have recently come out against the Fed's asset-purchase program because they say it will cause a rise in inflation. Among those who have sent letters of opposition to Bernanke are Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) and several Reagan-era economic officials.

"[W]hat they're saying," Frank said Monday, "is that America as the world's leader hasn't got a right to look at our own economic needs and somehow has to defer to everybody else. And I'm appalled by that ... One argument is [that] this might lower our currency and that's unfair to China. But having China complain about currency manipulation is like being called silly by the Three Stooges." 

He added that the "talk radio right wing" would be "shattering the atmosphere" if Democrats took the same position.

China, along with Germany, South Africa and Brazil, has said that any infusion of cash could weaken the dollar — another concern voiced by the House GOP, which was split in late September over a bill pressuring China to boost the value of its own currency. The measure ultimately passed in spite of nay votes from GOP leaders John Boehner (Ohio), Eric Cantor (Va.) and Mike Pence (Ind.).

Frank will be replaced as chairman in the next Congress by either the committee's ranking member, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), or Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who is challenging Bachus for the gavel.